Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

{ action.text }

By his own admission, Stewart Crawford’s early academic career at MIT was undistinguished. “A combination of immaturity, too many frat parties, several part-time jobs at a time, and I guess, a rebellion against authority led to my academic suspension,” he says. However, he reapplied and graduated on time with a degree in management.

Crawford got his favorite part-time gig—chauffeuring for philanthropist Claire Morton Prince Hanks—when he responded to a notice at the Student Aid office. He picked her up at the Ritz-Carlton and ferried her all over town in her big Buick. “She knew everybody,” Crawford says. One day—“This is how gauche I was,” he says—he asked Mrs. Hanks her age. “She said, ‘Stewart, a woman who would tell her age would tell anything.’”

Crawford’s own vehicle at the time, a 1933 Packard, was the first of many classic cars he owned over the years, including a Pierce Arrow and five other Packards. “I’m not interested in anything past 1950,” he says. He has judged at classic-car concours and written for car collector magazines.

After MIT, Crawford worked in the corporate world in Puerto Rico, Chile, and Mexico before landing in Los Angeles as a management consultant for companies in financial difficulty. He headed his own firm for 15 years before needing a change himself. “I got sick of working with people who’d dug their own financial graves,” he says. One day while reading the paper, Crawford saw an ad for a “unique publishing company.” He bought U.S. Traffic Service (USTS), one of about 20 ocean-shipping tariff publishers that maintain databases of shipping rates. USTS’s clients pay a wholesale rate to vessel owners for the use of their shipping containers and then sell the space in the containers at retail rates to companies with cargo to ship.

A glee clubber at MIT, Crawford recalls performing at Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory of Music. He has sung in and directed church choirs for years. “I sometimes still solo,” he says. He also provides churches with free financial consulting.

Crawford married his first wife, Doris Young, the day after graduation. They were together for 36 years and raised three children before she died. Crawford is now married to Nelva McGee-Crawford, a real-estate broker. They have homes in Murrieta, California, as well as Nelva’s native Panama and his hometown of Keene Valley, New York—where he keeps his 1940 Cadillac.

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me